Myddelton Pupil brings her hero to life to WIN National Writing Competition
14-year-old Lois Bradburn from Denbigh has won a national writing competition with a moving story about a boy on a cancer ward who grows up to be a nurse, and will see the work published in a brand-new book, released today, as part of Pearson’s My Twist on a Tale writing competition.
World’s learning company, Pearson, encouraged children between the ages of 4-19 to let their imagination run wild as they put pen to paper and wrote a story based on the new theme for 2020: Everyday Heroes.
Scooping the award in the Wales category, Lois’s work ‘What goes around comes around,’ was chosen alongside 14 other fantastic stories written by children across the country, including ‘Not all heroes wear capes’, by Key Stage 1 winner, Vedantika Chakraborty, ‘When the world lost its beat’, by Key Stage 5 and West Midlands winner Jessica Bryn and ‘On the frontline’, by South East winner Lucy Jefford.
The book, My Twist on a Tale: Everyday Heroes Winning Stories, is being released to celebrate World Book Day (4th March) and is available to download on Pearson’s website with all budding authors receiving their very own hard copy as part of their prize.
Lois’s poignant story describes the experience of a narrator, Tom, who wakes up in hospital after an operation, tired from multiple rounds of chemotherapy. His favourite nurse, Diane, reads stories to him throughout his recovery and helps him get better with warming bowls of soup. ‘She always made me smile and laugh and she brightened up my day.’
In the second part of the story, Tom is almost thirty, and has become a nurse himself. Returning to work at the hospital where he was treated, his first day takes an unexpected turn: the first patient he helps is Diane, who recognises him in her dying moments. ‘Tears dropped down my face as the other nurses held me,’ he says. ‘She had just died in front of me, my hero.’
Lois, who attends Myddelton College, said: “Winning was really unexpected! My inspiration is from our NHS staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic and how hard they are working to care for us all. I’m delighted.”
Over 1200 children and young people entered the competition with winning stories being picked across 15 categories including Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5 and all regions in the UK. From medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic to supermarket delivery staff, parents, grandparents, pets, community members, guide dogs and even a violin, the everyday heroes came in all shapes and sizes!
Katy Lewis, Head of English, Drama and Languages at Pearson said: “Lois should be extremely proud of the story she has written. Her imagination and writing skills are outstanding. It was an incredibly difficult decision choosing from the 1000+ stories we received, as they were all fascinating to read, but Lois’s piece really stood out and deserves its place alongside the other 14 winners who have built a collection of short stories that celebrate a diverse and modern-day Britain.”
“Following an extraordinary year of disruption, we wanted to give children the opportunity to write their own tales of people who have made a difference to them. It is so important that children and young people feel represented in the literature they read and the stories they write and so in writing their entries, whether that be a story about a hero in their local community, a key worker making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, a campaigner, a family member or friend that inspires them or even a hero from their imagination, we wanted children and young people to get creative and reflect their own personality, location and experiences as they bought their local crusader to life. The results were fascinating. Everyone who entered should be extremely proud of their hard work and creative flair.”
Guy Fowles of the National Literacy Trust, who judged the Wales category, praised the work, saying: “What Goes Around Comes Around is an incredibly moving story. Lois uses clever storytelling to subtly draw attention to two other everyday heroes – the narrator’s mother, working two jobs to support the family, and the narrator himself, Tom, who recovers from cancer and goes on to become a nurse too. Bringing the story full circle, twenty years later, is a powerful conclusion that brings a fitting closure to the narrative.
“This story is well written with a vivid use of detail to bring some very difficult subjects around suffering and pain to life.”